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Windows 7: Windows 7 and Linux


31 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
Windows 7 and Linux

Hello everyone,
I wanted to install Linux on my second hard drive but I heard that there are problems with Windows MBR - that it won't show Linux on the MBR or that the default OS will be Linux instead of Windows, so I wanted to know if it's true, and if yes, can you add Linux to the Windows MBR and make Windows MBR as the default?
Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 7 professional X64
 
 

I think making windows the MBR you would not be able to access GRUB which is Linux' dual boot scenario that allows you to start with either windows or linux.

In short. Linux needs grub to run the dual boot options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Windows boot will be added to GRUB when you install Linux.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Dec 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If it is your second hard drive, I suggest you unplug the first harddrive (which I assume has Windows 7) whilst installing Linux on the second drive. Then you get a completely independent Linux installation. You then choose the system from which you want to boot with the BIOS boot order.

That is the easiest approach and avoids a lot of headaches - especially the day you want to uninstall or reinstall one of the systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LittleJay View Post
If you do install Linux on a separate HDD as whs suggested, you can use EasyBCD to add a boot entry to the Windows bootloader, which will give you a dual boot option at startup.

EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies
I personally would not do that and muck up my bootmgr. Switching between the systems with the BIOS is the cleaner solution - I think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LittleJay View Post
If you do install Linux on a separate HDD as whs suggested, you can use EasyBCD to add a boot entry to the Windows bootloader, which will give you a dual boot option at startup.

EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies
I personally would not do that and muck up my bootmgr. Switching between the systems with the BIOS is the cleaner solution - I think.
I didn't realize that adding an entry for Linux into the Windows bootloader created problems. The time I used EasyBCD to add an entry for Ubuntu, which was installed on another HDD, I was able to later use EasyBCD to remove that same entry with no problem. But I do apologize for being wrong, because I don't want to cause problems for the OP if it isn't as simple as that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #7

Windows 7 professional X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LittleJay View Post
If you do install Linux on a separate HDD as whs suggested, you can use EasyBCD to add a boot entry to the Windows bootloader, which will give you a dual boot option at startup.

EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies
I personally would not do that and muck up my bootmgr. Switching between the systems with the BIOS is the cleaner solution - I think.
Linux adds an entry to the bootloader by default. Which is why it is not a good idea to run linux and windows in any sort of dual boot scenario if you plan to remove it in the future.

I recently had to work on a computer that had linux installed on one hard drive, and windows on the other. Formatting the linux drive still gave out a grubb rescue error in spite of it being in an independent drive.

When installing Linux you can make a side by side installation with windows 7, and direct it to another hard drive instead of creating a partition within an existing one. It will still bring up GRUB at startup.

Jays Easy BCD is the simplest way to manage linux and window's bootloader issues, and makes it safe to uninstall linux in the future if you do not want it anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LittleJay View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LittleJay View Post
If you do install Linux on a separate HDD as whs suggested, you can use EasyBCD to add a boot entry to the Windows bootloader, which will give you a dual boot option at startup.

EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies
I personally would not do that and muck up my bootmgr. Switching between the systems with the BIOS is the cleaner solution - I think.
I didn't realize that adding an entry for Linux into the Windows bootloader created problems. The time I used EasyBCD to add an entry for Ubuntu, which was installed on another HDD, I was able to later use EasyBCD to remove that same entry with no problem. But I do apologize for being wrong, because I don't want to cause problems for the OP if it isn't as simple as that.
Really no need to apologize. If you know what you are doing, this is a perfectly valid solution. The problem is that you have to be a 2 star geek to manipulate the bootmgr. Even with EasyBCD it is not obvious and many people have bricked their systems with it. So I always recommend the safest method if I don't know the level of experience of the OP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Quote:
Really no need to apologize. If you know what you are doing, this is a perfectly valid solution. The problem is that you have to be a 2 star geek to manipulate the bootmgr. Even with EasyBCD it is not obvious and many people have bricked their systems with it. So I always recommend the safest method if I don't know the level of experience of the OP.
Thank you for this reminder. I should have thought of that myself, but unfortunately I didn't.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Thanks you all replies you really helped, just another question, I formatted this empty drive with Windows and allocated it as D: , should I delete it first (via Disk Managment) in order to install Linux or if I choose this drive during installation , Linux will "take" it automatically and the next time I boot from Windows, I won't see D: anymore?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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